PETOSKEY — The Robert Emmet Society and Beards Brewery will soon be hosting the society’s annual Hoolie.
“‘Hoolie’ roughly translates to an Irish party and that is exactly what we will be hosting,” said society treasurer Jim Gillespie. “Hoolie is a term for a gathering that involves music, dancing and jokes. It’s basically an Irish party.”
The Robert Emmet Society started the event more than a decade ago with the help of the Blissfest Music Organization to help raise funds to send a qualifying North Central Michigan College student to study abroad, for one semester, at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway, Ireland. The society is preparing to send its 20th student overseas.
“The Hoolie is our main event and fundraiser for the scholarship that helps send a student to Ireland,” said society chairman Ed Karmann. “It’s a partnership we have as a nonprofit with the North Central Michigan College and the Galway-Mayo Institute. The funds raised help pay for at least semester of tuition, lodging, airfare, health insurance fees and immigration fees to the winning student.”
This year the Hoolie will be taking place at Beards Brewery in Petoskey because of scheduling conflicts at previous locations of the event. The society expressed appreciation for the brewery lending its space and, at least for this year, helping to spread the event over three days.
The main event will be from 6-11 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, with live music from two local bands, Murphy’s Bow and Dr. Goodhart, and a silent auction with prizes donated from local business.
“One of the cool items up for bid is the brewery package,” said Karmann. “The highest bidder will get to work with the master brewers at Beards to create a beer of their own. There will be a limited run of the beer in tap of the brewery, they will get to take some bottles of their beer home with them and help create the name and the graphic of the beer.”
Even though the main event of the Hoolie takes place on Saturday, activities run through the weekend with Irish-themed and inspired music from Friday through Sunday. Friday will feature Hannah Harris and friends. Harris is a Petoskey local who recently received her masters degree in ethnomusicology from the University College of Cork in Ireland. Music on Sunday will be offered as part of the regularly scheduled Beards Brewery Celtic Session.
Whether you are celebrating the Irish or not, 10 percent of each purchase at Beards Brewery through the weekend will also go towards the society’s scholarship. The society will choose its scholarship winner later this year. The selection process involves a review of written application materials by a panel of North Central Michigan College professors, as well as interviews with finalists.